Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way: Sandusky is innocent unless and until proven guilty. That makes these brave young men “purported” victims. So goes the Constitution. . .
I think the count is up to eight victims who are insisting they want to come forward to testify against Coach Sandusky, alleging sexual assault that went on for years. So, why are they now adamant to break their silence and disclose their identity? Perhaps it’s because he is blatantly speaking out to the media that he was “misunderstood.” It’s not enough that a young child puts their faith and trust in an adult they admire and believe in. But, for that adult to make the choices to sexually assault them, rob them of their innocence and threaten them with harm if they expose the travesty is reprehensible, at best.
You see, that’s kind of how being victimized by sexual molestation works. There is the part of your life where you are convinced you are “it,” the only victim—the one single target of the perpetrator. God forbid your life should end with you still believing that. But, wait! Another mark breaks their silence. They tell someone their dark, dirty secret. Of course, the pedophile continues to insist it’s all a fabrication. They could never be capable of such behavior. And the more public their persona, the more likely they are to be believed over the young innocent.
Then another victim comes out with their story. . . and maybe another. With each brave soul that steps forward to reveal what has happened to them at the hands of a pedophile, there are grounds opened up for the others to move forward and courageously join the band of disclosers. It becomes a support network of sorts.
I think the victims who have made their assaults public are a bit over Sandusky’s assertion their confessions were merely trumped up imaginary stories. Without realizing it, he has lit a fire of righteous indignation. You see, it equals calling them all liars—all of them—not just one single “purported” victim, but numerous ones. A victim of sexual molestation or assault carries burdens, weights and guilt that only other victims could possibly understand. So, these young men are beginning to stand as one entity, collectively acquiring the power and ability to break the back of deception, lies and abuse.
But, this is America—land of the free, home of the brave. We’ll let a jury of his peers make the ultimate decision as to whether or not Coach Sandusky is guilty or innocent. You see, that’s how we do it in America. In the meantime, let’s use this, along with the Syracuse debauchery, to remind us to protect and treasure our greatest asset—the children.
NOTE: After the time this article was initially written, but prior to its posting, more victims have come forward. The count now hovers around ten (10) claiming to have been sexually abused by Mr. Sandusky.
Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Life Direction & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, and bringing training to organizations seeking to help victims. Hennecy spent much time during October 2011, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, with media doing radio and television interviews. See Carolyn’s interview with Gayle Guyardo of NBC Channel 8 News Today Early Morning Show and her featured segment on the ABC Action News Emmy Award winning “Taking Action Against Domestic Violence” at orangeblossomwishes.com.
- Ex-Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky Arrested at Home on New Charges (ibtimes.com)
- Sandusky rearrested in sex abuse case (usnews.msnbc.msn.com)
- Sandusky arrested on new sex abuse charges (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)